Provides in-depth analysis of the life, works, career, and critical importance of Marie-Claire Blais.
The tradition-bound Catholic Quebec of the 1950s from which the young Marie-Claire Blais hoped to escape was the very world she wrote about with such intensity, precision, and poignance in her many acclaimed novels, theater pieces, and essays. Even after she had found her personal and artistic freedom in other cultures, Blais spent many peripatetic years casting a backward glance at Quebec's people and their ways - observations borne out in such works as Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (1965), the three-volume Manuscrits de Pauline Archange (1968-70), and Visions d'Anna (1980). In this first book-length English-language study of Blais, Mary Jean Green pays especially close attention to what she considers the author's four major works - La Belle Bete (1959), Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel, Le Sourd dans la ville (1979), and Visions d'Anna - and addresses Blais's other novels according to their focus on various themes: the life of the couple, the alienation of adolescence, love among women. In addition to the novels, Green covers Blais's plays for the stage, radio, and television and explores what Blais has written - both fiction and nonfiction - about the omnipresent danger of war, the lives of the homeless, the devastation of AIDS, and the desperation of young drug addicts. Green provides an excellent account of Blais's evolving awareness of feminist concerns and the parameters society has placed on women, and she masterfully weaves together the threads of Blais's life through a close reading of the autobiographical trilogy Manuscrits de Pauline Archange and the biographical memoir Parcours d'un ecrivain: Notes americaines (1993). This comprehensive study should prove as invaluable to students of Quebecois literature as it is to those of Blais's work.
Ch. 1. A Writer's Odyssey -- Ch. 2. A Tale of Many Meanings: La Belle Bete -- Ch. 3. Turning Tradition on Its Head: Une saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel -- Ch. 4. Adolescents in Revolt: Tete Blanche, David Sterne, and Pierre -- Ch. 5. The Fatality of the Couple: Le Jour est noir, Les Voyageurs sacres, L'Insoumise, and Le Loup -- Ch. 6. Dramatic Statements: L'Execution, L'Ile, and Plays for Radio and Television -- Ch. 7. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl: Manuscrits de Pauline Archange -- Ch. 8. The Satiric Voice: Un Joualonais sa Joualonie and Une liaison parisienne -- Ch. 9. Communities of Women: Les Nuits d l'Underground and L'Ange de la solitude -- Ch. 10. A Community of Suffering: Le Sourd dans la ville -- Ch. 11. Coming Home: Visions d'Anna -- Ch. 12. Reflections on a Writer's Life: Parcours d'un ecrivain
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